Van Jones: #LoveArmy
VAN JONES best known as a regular CNN contributor, is also an author, lawyer, environmentalist, and activist. As of late, he is coming more into the spotlight as a passionate spokesperson for the ignored and undervalued. Those targeted by poverty, greed, and prejudice have been the focus of Jones' 2014 brainchild, the Dream Corps. The Dream Corps is a social justice accelerator, created to help cutting edge initiatives grow to impact millions. The organization locates aspiring community leaders and connects them to world-class partners, digital tools, and media to help them succeed. The Dream Corps is currently working on these three programs:
#cut50: Transforming the criminal system to reduce prison populations by 50% in 10 years.
#YesWeCode: Helping 100,000 young people from diverse backgrounds find success in the tech sector.
#GreenForAll: Building an inclusive green economy. Moving $1 trillion dollars from polluters pockets into low income communities.
The latest creation of the Dream Corps, the #LoveArmy, is Van Jones' answer to the divisiveness currently gaining momentum in the U.S. In the coming year, the focus will be on bringing people with a common goal of inclusion together, where everyone counts and everyone matters.
According to Jones, the issue we face in America right now is not the abundance of people with bad intentions, it's the overwhelming abundance of people with good intentions that don't know what to do. Hence, the creation of the #LoveArmy, which Jones and the Dream Corps are betting that good people will stand up and do good things. The plan is to do national teach-ins, once a week, to stand up for the most vulnerable: Muslims, Jewish people, women, trans people, black protesters and DREAMers (unauthorized immigrants that meet requirements of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, aka the DREAM Act).
The focus is on bringing people together to demonstrate and deepen solidarity within those groups and to reassert at a values level. People are hurting, says Jones, at the idea that we are going to be a more divisive country. He believes that reasserting at a level of values, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, is where we start. Jones feels that if you are building a Love Army from the many that feel lost, fearful, angry and confused at what's going on politically, you start building a majority movement. One that may not agree on everything, but a movement that operates from mutual respect and the ability to have constructive disagreement.
Jones has faith that the current climate of divisiveness can be overcome by a beautiful, loving, determined opposition, and that we can hold a center of gravity that insists that the AMerica that we believe in is the real America.
For more information on Van Jones, the Dream Corps mission, and the #LoveArmy, go to www.dreamcorps.org